In Trunks, Hearts, and Hands Program in Middleton, Wisconsin

The heirloom trunks that once held an immigrant’s belongings now hold their stories. Explore these stories at a luncheon or dinner and program presented by the Madison Area Friends of Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum on March 18, 2017. You will have two times to choose from—11:45 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. or 4:45 until 6:45 p.m.

The event will be at the Craftsman Table and Tap, at 6712 Frank Lloyd Wright Ave. in Middleton, Wisconsin, and will include the program In Trunks, Hands, and Hearts: What Norwegian Immigrants Brought to the United States, by Laurann Gilbertson, Chief Curator at Vesterheim.

Everyone is welcome! Tickets are $30 for members and $35 for non-members. RSVP by March 3 to Vesterheim’s Development Events Coordinator Karla Brown at 563-382-9681, x107, or

Norwegian immigrant trunks are often cherished family heirlooms, but they also serve as a way to begin thinking about immigrant experiences themselves. Between 1825 and 1980, nearly one million Norwegians left for new lives in America. What factors motivated people to leave family and their homeland to start a life in a new place? What did they choose to take with them on their voyage? What challenges did they face during their journeys and as they settled in a new land?

Using photos of trunks from the museum’s collection and stories related to those trunks, Laurann will consider these questions and more. Guests are encouraged to bring and share photographs of their immigrant trunks and to wear their Norwegian sweaters or Norwegian costumes (bunader).

The menu will be grilled salmon with herbed crème fraiche and mashed potatoes, or vegetarian pasta with marinara sauce and seasonal vegetables. All meals include a mixed green salad, freshly baked dinner rolls, and soda, coffee, and tea.

The event is sponsored by Peder and Jeanne Moren.